Thyroid, how to behave if there are nodules

If there is iodine deficiency, the thyroid tends to grow and form nodules that they can. What to do if they are discovered

Covid-19 has also made the World Thyroid Week appointment, scheduled from 25 to 31 May, virtual. This event aims to increase people's knowledge of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of thyroid diseases. But it still represents an opportunity to remember the importance of iodine and the behaviors to be taken to preserve the health of the gland.

How nodules are studied

Women are most at risk of developing thyroid nodules. The probability of identifying them grows progressively with age and also in this case women are at greater risk: towards the 40-50 years more than 30 percent of the female population can present these small lesions, mainly related to the iodine deficiency with the power supply.

Iodine is generally present in foods in limited quantities and is essential for the proper functioning of the gland, because the thyroid hormone is made up of a significant part of iodine: therefore if there is little iodine, the thyroid tends to grow and form nodules . However, it should be remembered that most of the nodules are small in size and are often discovered almost by chance, without symptoms or particular signs.

If, on the one hand, more and more thyroid nodules are identified, even very small, due to the increasingly widespread use of ultrasound, and therefore the diagnosis of thyroid cancer is also increasing (5-10 percent of the nodules seen at the ultrasound can be neoplastic), according to experts also the great majority of thyroid tumors have low aggressiveness.

Diagnostics is making great progress in properly identifying cancer-prone nodules, and avoiding unnecessary treatments and surgeries for harmless nodules. However, also the therapeutic strategies (for tumors, and for benign nodules of such size as to annoy) have continued, especially on the choice and customization of the treatment when necessary, with particular care in the (fortunately few) very aggressive forms of cancer , for which therapies previously unavailable have been developed to date.

We must not forget that the thyroid gland is the most frequent "target" organ of autoimmune pathology, also especially for women. For this reason it is necessary to evaluate the situation in case of disturbances, aiming above all to check the TSH values ​​in order to discover a possible Hyper or hypothyroidism.

How to keep your thyroid in shape

A few, simple rules must be kept in mind for those who want to have the thyroid and its functionality under control. Here is a series of simple practical tips.

  • Regularly consume iodized salt, commercially available, both as coarse salt and as fine salt. Just be careful not to overdo it by adding salt to foods, for the risk of hypertension.
  • In the presence of neck swellings or in the presence of symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, weight gain, slow heartbeats (hypothyroidism) or agitation, tachycardia, anxiety (hyperthyroidism), consult your doctor
  • Sometimes even apparently distant parameters can be correlated with the well-being of the thyroid. Therefore, an increase in the values ​​of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood can also have as a cofactor the malfunction of the gland.
  • Thyroid hormone is a drug, therefore it should only be used when indicated by the doctor. Do not make the mistake of taking thyroid hormone to lose weight, thinking of speeding up your metabolism: if the thyroid gland works normally it is useless and can be dangerous to health.
  • The iodine requirement increases in pregnancy: an adequate supply of iodine to the mother guarantees an adequate supply to the fetus, which needs it for the functioning of its thyroid and for the development of the nervous system.

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